Monday, 30 November 2009
I have been back at work for 2 weks now, which has been sureal and very interesting to see where the company is at and where people are at. I left this company nearly 2 years ago and I was very frank about some issues with the company when I left, so it was good for me to swallow some pride walking back in the door. I am enjoying it at the moment and the timing is brilliant, God is very good like that. The driving has been ok, although I have struggled to get back into a rhythm of prayer, something which I took for granted I would be able to do. It was my driving and talking to God that led me back into relationship with Him, I have had and will continue to try to get back into that rhythm of natural conversation with someone who is that close. Does this mean I am not as close to God as I was before, I don't think so, I just think the nature of our relationship is different and this is a challenge to be closer still.
Tanya and I, with moving and baby and new job and stuff have not been praying together very much. All the things I have just mentioned there are an excuse, it is up to us to put God first, we are doing a little DVD course which is helping us get back to where we were. Consistency is important. Pray and read your bible, the rest is secondary.
Thursday, 12 November 2009
Within the last month, we have moved to the exact right house, in the right place, with the space that is needed for us as a family and a place that can be used for the bigger vision of our lives.
My old company contacted me and have asked if I can come back to work for them, new, better shift pattern, good money, good conditions.
A car has been provided for me to go to work in and back up is there if needed.
And looks like Tanya will be setting up as a hairdresser, things are moving on that front too.
Things ain't perfect, but they are very good.
God is good, He is faithful, if He says He is in it, He is in it, He will not let you down, hold on to the words He has given. What He says in the light, is still relevant in the dark, morning does come.
Tuesday, 10 November 2009
I am still getting things sorted in our lovely new home, I am glad to say I am have been busy with some speaking and organising some really cool things, but I need to be on top of things. I have also been offered a job, with my old company, the problem is, I have no car, if God is in it, one will be provided, yet we will see.
Things are good, yet we are still a family of six and we have a lot of daily stuff to deal with and I think my personal prayer right now, would be to give me patience in the small family things, the big things will sort themselves out and God is in them, He is also in the little things, so I must relax and enjoy and be joyous in all things.
More to come, bye for now.
Friday, 9 October 2009
I will do another pilot in 2 weeks and then see if we can run with it after half term. It is like this with quite a few things I am doing, the plan is there, the oppurtunities seem to be opening up, but it is best just to wait at the moment and do the simple things, like move house, get settled, enjoy Christmas and then attack the new year, it is really great to see the things on the horizon, I just have to be patient and make sure I get my priorities straight and be consistent in what I am doing.
I can't wait.
Wednesday, 7 October 2009
There is no big plan to this meal, it is what it says on the packet, a meal. as I have said before it is a time to eat and share what is going on in our lives, a family meal, which unfortunately is missed in many families nowadays.
I am cooking chilli with jacket potatoes, nice and simple good fayre, hopefully and pryaerfully I won't give anyone food poisoning, although I have someone with me who is food hygiene qualified, to cover the health and safety angle. I hope and pray it goes well, please pray too, just for a great atmosphere and for God to be really in it.
Tuesday, 6 October 2009
I have been told and I do feel this is a time for me to just be, rather than to do, I find it hard. At my last job, we were taught first aid fire fighting, in other words doing enough, until the big guys arrive. I feel at the moment I am doing first aid living, keeping things ticking over until the bigger moments arrive, I now think that is a bad analogy, but I know what I mean, keeping the necessary things going until I am in a stronger place to do bigger things.
Friday, 2 October 2009
The house we are in was necessary, it was very much needed this time last year when our house was being repossessed and we had nowhere to go. The type of house made it easier for us to move things here and then minimise, really get rid of things we did not want or need, it has been cramped, but this has forced us to face up to some very hard questions about our relationships as a family. We are cramped and now with an extra one, even more so.
While in this house, we have also made many decisions about how we live our lives, from spending time together in prayer to having breakfast together, we walk more, we get up and do more, so although there are many things we have not enjoyed about being here, we are blessed to have a roof over our heads and we have learnt alot.
Finally though, we are all so looking forward to moving and all spreading our wings a bit, I suppose the challenge is to take what we have learnt somewhere else.
Thursday, 1 October 2009
One of the points I made yesterday, was about Prince Charles. When he wakes in the morning, he does not stop and think 'Am I a prince?' He knows he is, things that he does during his day and his life, will reflect on his family and who he is as a prince, he has been trained in how to act as a prince in different situations, he has the responsibility of a prince. But the fact is, and he knows it and he can't do a lot about it, is, he is a prince. He is a prince, because his mum is the queen.
I think as a christian, we need to recognise, we are princes, because our heavenly father is King. We are children of God. We need to recognise who we are and then move on to our training or discipleship, as princes of the kingdom. We can't earn our princedom, the trips and falls in our lives never stop us being the princes we are, they are part of our life and training.
What was pointed out to me yesterday, was that in the parable of the prodigal son, when the son comes home, he offers to work, the father has none of it, he welcomes his child home and puts on a party. This is God's response to us when we come back to Him, why do so many of us get caught up in trying to earn it. We have been set free, live in freedom.
Monday, 28 September 2009
I notice in myself quite often, I speak so much, and I know something that bothers me, is speaking to someone, who listens without making comments, when actually, they are probably beiong very wise and I am showing my insecurity, by needing their affirmation, I need to step out more, shut up and listen, observe and then act, if necessary.
I had a great youth team meeting on Saturday, more idea of where we are going, which is good, I also was out street pastoring on Saturday night, which was a good laugh, a good team and quite a quiet night, even though it was really busy ( I am told it is freshers week) Just about everyone was really well behaved, although there was one young lady who tried a new drug cocktail for the first time and ended up in hospital, it really is russian roulette and the rest of her mates will be back doing the same thing next weekend, they told me, fun, eh.
Things are good, busy week ahead, might be moving, still need car, keep praying.
Friday, 25 September 2009
I suppose the biggest difference for me this year, will be me taking more of a backseat, passing on a baton and letting the older youth be the ones who run it. It is not my youth cafe, it also needs a youthful direction and this is one of these things where I am using my time more wisely.
I will still be helping sometimes, be on the end of the phone on the other times and organise rotas and prayer, I think it is time to step back, let others take the lead and use my drive and passion to start something new. I am sure the YC is going to grow and continue to be something special, it will be nice for me to have more Friday nights free, which I will probably try to make available for Street Pastors or just have as free time.
Anyway, it all begins again tonight, woohoo.
Thursday, 24 September 2009
It is the simplist of things, cooking simple pot meals one evening a week with the young people from our church, with their friends, with those we come into contact with on the weekends through the YC, and those we come into contact with through other things we do with sport and school and just eating with them. Get to know people, get to know what is going on in peoples lives, be family.
It is something that is dying out with many families, sharing and eating together, it is something we try hard as a family to do, we don't always do it, but we try. As a church family, we want to be there and share and be an ear, be interested and make an effort and maybe, without judging, be a family in a place where family is not always evident or able.
Jesus ate with people a lot, it was important to Him, it should be important to me.
Wednesday, 23 September 2009
I have bought a diary, I am now for the first time, one of those blokes who walks around with a diary in my hands, making notes and saying things like ' I can't do then, it will have to be..' and ' I'll see if I can fit you in'. I have not actually said either of these things yet, but I may have to.
It is good to be busy and I will not be complaining about it, it is also good to rest, I am not going to complain about that either, it is important to have balance and be clever with my time.
I will be starting the Youth Cafe up again on Friday, although I will be taking a back seat more and more and it will begin to be run by the older youth, I am only attending 5 times before Christmas, I will be on the end of the phone on the other occasions. I want to spend some time getting a new widweek project up and running, I will explain more on another occasion. Because of this I will be stepping back from Sunday evening stuff, so Tanya and I have a definite night for ourselves.
Tanya and I really want to start pushing for street pastors in Diss, this is already starting to show some encouraging signs.
Something else that takes up time, yet something I am very pleased about, are more oppurtunities to speak, there are also some learning oppurtunities and some community work to be getting on with.
I really want to enjoy being busy, to do so, I need to be more organised and put the right things first. Time will tell.
Monday, 21 September 2009
I am back, broadband sorted, thanks to the lovely people at BT, I got a nice package, which is cheaper than virgins and I get BT vision, which I have to be careful does not become my new idol, TV on demand is wonderful and addictive. I also get ESPN, which means that on Saturday I was able to watch Liverpool beating West Ham.
As mentioned in my last post, I am now a father of 4, although we have changed the spelling of her name, it is now Vitoria Arianna. She is great, healthy and the best sleeper yet, Tanya is doing good, we are both tired and trying to be aware we are both tired, which is hard, I was a bit of an angry man a couple of weeks a go, I am getting over myself.
The other kids are doing good, although Morgan has had a rough start at school, things are starting to settle down, with his inclusion in the rugby team and some other activities helping. He did have a great and busy summer, which I was really thankful to God for, he needed it, he now has to stay focused. Mason is doing good, in a new football team, mentioned in the newspaper last week, so we are very proud. We are trying to deal with some issues with our boys at the moment, which is challenging, just trying to get them to think more and to be more positive in everything. Turaya is great, enjoying playschool, although the first week of our new arrival, she was very emotional, now she is back enjoying herself.
We should be moving soon and there are lots of things to start, as always, especially if you work with youth, September is busy and the time to start new things, I will share more another time.
We are still without a car, although we have the use of one most of the time, I do have a concern that one family is helping all the time, and we do need something more permanent and bigger, we will keep praying.
I do feel on the brink of once more breaking through, of taking another step up. After being pruned back for so long, I feel shoots starting to grow.
Thursday, 27 August 2009
Tuesday, 18 August 2009
Things are good, God is working, be back soon, probably with a new family member, due 24th by the way. I'll let you know. Bye.
Saturday, 8 August 2009
Last week I was out in Norwich city centre, it was a night of finding people on the floor, drunk, beaten, drugged or one guy had seemingly been stabbed, this is not always what nights are like, but this night was and what amazed me, was not the people we were finding, it was the passers by. As Christians, we are generally accused of being judgemental, in fact, during the day there had been a gay pride march, and as a team going out, we thought we were going to get it in the neck for being so judgemental ( were we judging?), we didn't, we only had some very positive remarks from the gay community. In general though, someone was on the floor, we would get people walking up to tell us, they deserved it, calling names, making really stupid comments and of course, when there were girls on the floor, there were blokes who wanted to come over and sneek a peek, there is nothing like an unconscious girl puking on the floor and several blokes hanging around to see if their boobs pop out or what knickers she is wearing.
As street pastors, we get a very positive reaction on the streets, but people rarely have something positive to or helpful to say to those we are helping, I say rarely, but last Saturday there was a passing fella who really took charge in the stabbing incident and when we were helping a spiked young lady, another girl came up offering to help, saying that we had helped her in the same way. I suppose in general I was just a bit shocked at peoples negativity and judgementalism, especially, as I have said, it is what Christians are constantly accused of.
There was also a young lady who we helped, who had been let down by the 'system', it has really started me thinking, I will explain more on another occasion.
Tuesday, 4 August 2009
I notice I have mentioned, but not really explained, the 2 cars I currently have use of. As a bankrupt, my car has been taken away from me, if I manage to buy another car, while I am still undischarged, or get given a car to own, it can be taken from me as an asset. At the moment, one friend is on a 5 week honeymoon, so we have a huge people carrier to use and another friend has just left her car at ours everytime she is not using it. So, we have had one car taken away, we now have 2 to use. God is good, so is His family. We have also had some great gifts from different people.
It was my first time speaking at DC3 on Sunday, I enjoyed it and have been quite self critical and will look forward to speaking again and growing in it, I was very nervous, I may post it, but if you can't wait, I am not going to do a link to it, but it is available at DC3's website under resources.
I am writing some other things down to remind myself now, just that I was street pastoring and I do feel God is again speaking about family, community and systems. I must keep up.
Wednesday, 29 July 2009
Morgan was at camp last week, which was great, he had a really good time, this is the first time he has been on anything like this, he really enjoyed it, got something out of it and I hope it will be the first of many. This is a busy summer for him, he is at his nans now, then is going to army cadet camp for 2 weeks starting Sunday, followed by a few days doing a short mission trip in London. It is different for Mason, as he is a bit younger, but he is going to spend a few days with his nan and grandad in a couple of weeks and when he starts back at school, he is going away straight away.
We were at the hospital today, the baby is breech, so it is looking like a cesarean section being performed on the 24th August. Turaya is wonderfully herself, enjoying being a toddler.
I was out street pastoring on Saturday night, rough old time, I will talk about on another occasion, but that will be my last outing until the baby is born. I am speaking on Sunday at church, I am looking forward to it, a little apprehensive, but I have a good word, I just want to get it across, we will see, that is us, in God's hands.
Friday, 17 July 2009
This week I have got up early, walked to church and met with someone different each day, to pray together. I have enjoyed getting up early, with a real sense of purpose, I should have that sense anyway, but I don't always have. So to have an early appointment has been good and to start off the day praying with someone else, has been good and wonderfully different, sometimes loud, sometimes quiet, but different and there has been a real sense of pushing forward.
We have also been walking a lot this week, due to a lack of car, which has been good for me and very tiring for a very pregnant Tanya. Since Wednesday evening, a friend has lent us a car till Saturday, another friend will be lending us his vehicle on Saturday and Sunday and then on Monday yet another friend is lending us his wagon for a month, brilliant, eh, real family response.
There have also been other blessings this week, through relationships and where stuff is going, a real sense that God is watching over and looking after us and leading us His way. All is going to be ok.
The summer holidays start now, so I don't know what blogging I will be doing for a while, but I will try to keep people informed.
Wednesday, 15 July 2009
One interesting thing that one person said to me, who is loaning me their car, was that they hate to see cars and houses unused, especially when there are people in need. It reminds me of during my street pastor training, one of the trainers was talking about a time they were speaking to a homeless person and he felt like such a hypocrite, when he thought of all the nice warm church buildings there are, while people freeze on the streets.
I hope I learn a lot about generosity from all of this, it is very challenging, what I am receiving from others, am I going to be so quick to give, I like to think so, but I also know and funnily enough have seen at this time, other people who just could not face someone borrowing their precious object. I am not judging, I am asking myself, because I know I like nice things, would I lend it out or even give it away. We will see.
Friday, 10 July 2009
The way I see it, it is like playing golf, I may have mentioned this before, but I like the analogy. When I play golf, I address the ball, and expect to hit exactly where I want it to go, it does not usually happen, but when I come to hit my next shot, I feel exactly the same way, that ball is going to go exactly where I want to, I am going to hit the perfect shot, and I believe this for the 100ish shots it takes me to get around a golf course, and I will believe it every time I turn up to play golf between now and when I can no longer play. What faith, to stand in front of that ball thousands of times and believe that it is going to do exactly what I expect it to. Guess what, sometimes it actually happens.
I want to keep believing until the day I die, that every day that I pray, every day that I act, every day I step out in God, the miraculous is going to happen, that God is going to show a little bit of His glory in a wonderful and miraculous way, and that I am going to see some amazing things.
I'll let you know when I get my car.
Thursday, 9 July 2009
Yesterday, it was taken away, as part of our bankruptcy, I was waiting for a miracle.
I had someone to phone, to tell them if I could do something or not, I was waiting to tell them I could, and told them I would phone in the morning, I was expecting God to deliver a car after our one was taken, it didn't happen. I still know God has a plan, I was just trying to twist His arm into helping me quick, so that I could do something I wanted to do. In the end, I had to phone and say I couldn't.
Under the terms of my bankruptcy, if I get an asset while I am undischarged, they will take it from me, so unfortunately I can't win a Subaru, but thanks for the thought, it also means someone can't just give me a car, someone would have to permanently loan me one, which of course makes things more difficult.
God is faithful, I know it, in the big scheme of things, this is difficult, it isn't life threatening, I am overweight, so now I can get slimmer, there are going to be problems, I will have to ask for help, until our prayers are answered.
Wednesday, 8 July 2009
The parenting issue I referred to the other day turned out to be nothing but parental paranoia, yesterday, my snip went as well as could be expected, I am rather uncomfortable, but not in anywhere the pain I thought I would be.
On Monday evening, after I had written some of the things that are going on with me at the moment, I got a bit panicky, I was a bit worried and unsure. In the evening, with Tanya, I really called out to God, I just don't know what is going on, I can't see the light, only more trouble. In response, God really spoke to Tanya and she really felt a need to share Isaiah 54.
Isaiah 54 is wonderful, it has so many statements in that chapter which are the opposite of what we feel now, it is a chapter of blessing, it really spoke into our lives at that moment, and it was enough.
We need hope, we need to know God is with us and when we hear Him say 'I am with you', it shines light and hope and peace and joy into the dark places. I don't know what Paul suffered from when he asked God to remove his thorn in the flesh, but I bet the fact that God spoke, and assured Paul that His grace would be enough, was a great comfort in whatever it was.
The car is being taken this morning, I am praying for a miracle.
Monday, 6 July 2009
This weekend has been a real blessing to me, I have enjoyed myself, and allowed myself to enjoy it, with nothing niggling in the backround, there is a lot ahead this week, I am glad I have that support around me, and maybe God is reminding me of that.
Tomorrow, I go and have my vasectomy, a little snip in the morning and home for lunch, I hope. I don't really know what to think about it, I have heard horror stories and stories of how easy it is. I just pray it goes ok.
On Wednesday, our car is being taken from us, don't really know what to say or do about that, we have to rely on God, I really pray that whatever happens, glorifies Him.
There are some serious worries coming up this week for my inlaws, it is going to be tough, I will be praying for them, and trying to be there, not necessarily physically, as we don't have a car, but you know what I mean, they don't know God, I hope He shines through into them this week.
At home as well this week, there are things for us to deal with as parents, as people with a discipleship responsibility to our own children, we want to face things head on, in prayer and action.
There is also a bit of a furore brewing at the moment with some friends, I will be praying it is nothing, or if it is something, then it can be dealt with properly. I know I am talking in riddles, but discretion is important.
A good weekend, followed by lots going on, it is good, it needs prayer.
Friday, 3 July 2009
I have a great weekend lined up, a really great social time to look forward too, and a time to laugh and smile and share and enjoy, a time not to take myself too seriously.
I am pretty sure God wants me to be joyful, in all things, I hope I remember it, like most things that I learn, it seems God has to keep on reminding me, He loves me, His grace will suffice, I am forgiven, I am secure and sure of my future, He is with me, live life, being joyful in all.
Thursday, 2 July 2009
An only son, sent by his father to be a light and lead the people of this planet forward, to be their saviour. I like the fact that Lois Lane argues that this world does not need a saviour, and then Superman takes her up high and asks her what she hears, she says nothing, he says he hears everything and what he hears is a world calling out to be saved.
Too often we get caught up in the whys and whats and hows, while the world cries out for a saviour. I know I can be quite insular, I know others can be as well, it don't work, we are not meant to be islands, we are meant to be communities, yet we shy away, we are hospitable, yet not friends, we want to help, yet we will not speak, we talk of family, yet very rarely act like one, and all the time, the world is searching and crying out for a saviour, and we are moping about concerned if someone said an inappropriate word in a Sunday teaching, or if the worship goes on to long, or whether we are liked, or asking what is there for me, we want fed, when we should be flying, we huddle in our comfort zones, while the masses will die.
An atheist group recently put up some posters on buses and billboards, saying, don't worry, there isn't a God anyway. First I am amazed, that they are that passionately religious about getting their point across,( a few months ago I had a 3 atheists on the same day comment in a very negative fashion on one of my posts, great organisational skills) second, I am amazed that they miss the point.
We all want to belong, even the atheist, in their groups, belonging together, trying to save the world from lies, welcome to our world. The hole in people is a need to belong, and the only true place they should belong, that should fill that hole, is in God and His family.
It is so important to be that family.
PS, I need a car. Please pray.
Wednesday, 1 July 2009
I have been enjoying the sun, I have a plan, to get as much done in the mornings as possible, so I have returned to lists, which I find I do like, as long as I don't go to hard on mysslef for not completing them, but I am enjoying my lists this week, getting stuff done, then enjoting the weather, it is a luxury. It reminds me of the time I have right now, to enjoy, to help Tanya, who is heavily pregnant, to be with Turaya and watch her grow, to be at home for the boys and be able to be their taxi driver, ( while we still have a car) and to use my time to learn, run the house and relax. I have trouble enjoying this time, I really feel I must, because the time that is coming, may be very hectic, alive but hectic, can't wait. Use the time I have, being ready for the time to come.
Tuesday, 30 June 2009
The local job did not turn up. We had even less, the house got taken away, the creditors kept calling, it has been hard sometimes. But we have felt at peace and supported by the one who we trust, there have been others who have been real rocks as well. On advice the best option for us, was to go bankrupt, we have had to pay to do so, which was not easy, and next week, our car will be taken from us. We rely on it a lot, Tanya is heavily pregnant, the hospital is more than 20 miles away. We are trusting God, we truly have not got anything else.
But the debts have been wiped clean, we are free of them, here we are starting again, reminds me of something else.
I feel like I have to justify being bankrupt, I feel I have to try and convince others that being free of my debt, of things being wiped clean, is good. I think people want me to pay everything back, I am sorry, I tried, I can't, I don't have. As a Christian, God took all my debts, all my sin, and threw them away, never to be seen again, and we rejoice when this happens to someone. But there is shame connected to bankruptcy, the shame that my debt was too big, that I got myself into that position, that I am getting away scot free. I believe in a God who took away my shame, did He let me off scot free, even though I got into all my sin in my life myself. I have to step forward in freedom now and trust God for a car and not listen to the ones who want to throw the first stone.
The slate has been wiped clean again.
Monday, 29 June 2009
I don't do street pastoring every Saturday night, usually once a month, this Saturday I was out on the streets and I have been asked to lead teams now, which is a new challenge and a different perspective.
This Saturday, we came across a new homeless guy at the soup kitchen, one of the other guys actually started chatting with him, I came across later. The man was chatty and very open about himself, he is a part op transexual, he had a heart attack a few years ago, now he can't have anymore surgery, this has sent him on a downward spiral, ending up with him on the streets of Norwich.
I asked him if it was ok if we prayed for him, if we could ask others to pray for him and if it was ok to tell other street pastors about him so that they could check if he was ok and keep everyone posted. He was very emotional and moved by the this, that others would actually care, he was hugged and comforted and I hope we have started to build a relationship there which we can try to help and give advice in. The most important point I felt, was being there and letting someone know they are worth something, not condemned, loved, not judged, it felt to me that is where Jesus would be.
Sunday, 28 June 2009
On patrol with the Street Pastors
BBC Look East has spent a Saturday night in Norwich with a group of volunteers who help revellers when they get into trouble.
It follows the sentencing of two brothers for the manslaughter of a banker while on a night out in the city.
Thursday, 25 June 2009
I have had a good week, finding myself busy and content in where and what I am, the wonderful weather helps, it shouldn't, but it does. I have been preparing to move, whether that is in 4 months, as scheduled, or next week, it is all in God's hands. I have also been continuing giving a day a week to the Kadesh farm project, which has been great, wonderful once again in this weather. There is something incredibly satisfying working with the land, I wondered a while back, if this is something to do with repentance, turning back to how God wants us to be, looking after the world He gave us, working the land, just an idea, I just know I enjoy it, and for someone who does not know anything about the land and animals and stuff like that, it is good to learn.
Today we were going to our bankruptcy hearing, but we have rescheduled for tomorrow, this is a big deal, we have never been in this position before and there are loads of thoughts to go with it, one of the biggest being, not knowing, in general though, we are at peace. I do want to write about bankruptcy and my thoughts on it, the stigma, etc, but I think I will do it after. Would appreciate prayer.
Wednesday, 24 June 2009
Candide, the main character, has been taught to believe that everything is for the best in the best possible of worlds, and he starts as a very naive character and ends up going to Holland to beg, here he meets a man who has just been preaching to a crowd on charity, the man asks him 'Do you hold pope to be antichrist?' , to which Candide repsonds that he does not know, but would like something to eat. The man chases him away, haranguing him and his wife empties her chamberpot over him.
Another man sees this happen, and out of pity, takes him in, cleans him up, feeds him, gives him some money and offers to teach him a trade. To which Candide responds
"I am infinitely more affected with your extraordinary generosity than with the inhumanity of that gentleman in the black cloak and his wife."
Just made me think.
Saturday, 20 June 2009
Last night, me and a group of the older lads and Morgan, my son, went and got a football, a rugby ball, some rounders stuff and went to the park. First mistake, wrong park, some new stuff has opened at the other main park, so there was no one there and when some people did turn up, they were the ones who were not really into sports, we did get mouthed off by some older lads though, which was interesting.
We then went to the other main park in town, and driving through the town centre, I noticed a lot of young people hanging out there and then at the park, people were quite happily doing their own thing and just ignored the group of older weirdos having a kick about.
In the end I went home leaving Morgan there with his mates. I was not down ,this has just thrown up some questions, like, how do we interact with the young people of this town, if we are not using our building, hmmmm.
I will keep you informed.
Friday, 19 June 2009
Arranging to pray together seems to be the most difficult thing going though, there is every excuse under the sun not to. Do we pray differently in the west, because we have so many material back ups, Dear God, please heal this person, but if you don't there is always a doctor, please help that person financially, but if you don't there is always the social, house that person, but if you don't there is the council, bring revival, but bring others to do it.
I think we got lost somewhere, in the world, relying on the safety around us, we have let the world sneak up on us, now do we really rely on God, and if He was doing something would we notice? Would we believe? I was reading in Matthew yesterday, the moment the high priest asked Jesus if He was the Messiah, and Jesus said ' Yes, it is as you say'. The whole of the religous establishment, the whole of Israel were awaiting the messiah, the moment He was there, they could not see Him, they would not believe. If a miracle was performed in front of many christians today in the western world, they would not believe.
Church is now more interested in how it does church, than to fall on its knees to God, cry out to He who can do anything and then stand up and walk out in faith to a world that is crying out. As a church we are very good at saying it, supporting those doing it even, but how about really grasping what we are meant to be doing and believing in what can be with God beside us. How about making some real sacrifices for what we are, how about making some real lifestyle choices about where we want to be. Let us turn off the tv and pc ( I see the irony) and go start giving somethings that might cost us something.
David said, he would not give a sacrifice to God that cost him nothing ( 2 Samuel 24:24), do we?
Do we do the easy bits and then get out the cheque book for the harder bits, both need doing, but you get what I mean.
Thursday, 18 June 2009
I have had a busy week and I am pleased, I am getting things done, but without a load of pressure hanging over my head, I still secretly chide myself for not doing things, but I am getting there. Trying to learn and grow while waiting for the tide to turn. If things are seasonal, I am hoping that the current season is near the end and a new one will be beginning soon, I am just concerned I am going to come out of autumn into winter, haha.
At the moment I suppose I feel like I am on one of my Thursdays in general, that we are heading for a time of refuelling, which seems a bit weird considering we have a baby due in August, I can't see much refuelling going on then, but then again there is the joy of new life and of being a parent again that is a great booster, you need it to get throught the sleepless nights.
Talking of sleepless nights, I don't seem to get a whole night sleep at the moment. I sleep like a log, it is just no one else does, Tanya wakes me because I snore, the baby wakes, then one of the boys gets up excruciatingly early and starts strolling about, no constant sleep, it can't be healthy, I think the couch is looking incredibly appealing for tonight.
Roll on refuelling time.
Monday, 15 June 2009
I believe, as does the writer of that book, that we develop our relationships with God as we hit these bumps.
We hit a bump in life and how we react, learn and deal with the bump, helps us grow. We make choices, whether it is to sit down at the bump and go no further or to climb on the bump and march on.
I often talk about uber spiritual people, there are not any really, there are those that have chose to climb on the bumps, or as I believe they put it in Willow Creek church, they go from exploring Christ to growing in Christ, then from close to Christ to Christ centred. It is about how and where our focus is in life and how we give our lives in response to all that is asked of us by He who we follow.
I do believe that the greatest growth comes through hitting bumps in life, hitting hard times, when all you have left is God to rely on, because that is meant to be the point anyway.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding
Yesterday one of the windows of our car shattered, it was a bit of a knock, I can't do anything about it, it is another thing like the house and stuff, I just have to rely on God and climb on the bump, show the world that it is ok, because He who I follow is in charge.
Friday, 12 June 2009
As I have done this and stuff like the youth cafe, I find myself more drawn to being out there, rather than pointing in.
The other week, while out street pastoring on a Saturday night, I was chatting to this guy about some random stuff, when he told me he had been to a church with a friend and that the person who was speaking that day had spoken about how God forgives sin. This guy then asked me very directly if this was true. I was able to give him a very brief and honest gospel message and testimony, he had to go, but a seed was planted and me and my group walked off really praising God for the opportunity of the conversation.
When it comes down to the basics that I often speak of here, the reality of God and the relationship He wants to have with us and set us free to live, they are not known, they have so often been lost in judgement and guilt, in church and religion, in trying to be different things, in being so busy looking at ourselves, that we have forgot to show the reality of Christ to a world that needs Him.
This is something that is on my heart and something I need to run with, thanks.
Thursday, 11 June 2009
That is the point I have made here before and will make again, I have faced and continue to face the same difficulties and problems as others, sometimes it gets me down, I get upset and sometimes I get angry. But I am different, I am called out to be different, because whatever I face, I am not alone, there honestly is a peace in my life now, that is there because of who is with me, not from anything I have done.
I know I should not go on at others, but I do think there are a lot of Christians who need to shine that specific light, the one that says, I am suffering the same pain as you, but I feel strong, loved and supported. I can be a moody whinger, what does that say to someone about my faith, I am trying and I believe really getting somewhere in not taking myself so seriously and showing that I am living, even in the dark.
Somebody during a prayer meeting yesterday was talking about the shepherd and the 100 sheep. The shepherd will leave the 99 and go looking for the 1. I think sometimes I and others get caught up in what the 99 are doing, when we are meant to be out looking for the lost 1. That is where the shepherd is.
Wednesday, 10 June 2009
I was running about doing some cleaning and happened to look behind our sofa. We have wooden flooring, and the entire area under the sofa was black with mould, the wall was damp, it was pretty horrible. We have been having problems with mould and condensation, but generally it has been around the windows and doors, this was in our living room up the wall and across the floor. It knocked me a bit, we want to move, because of space and we have had health concerns, but we don't know how to. Very frustrating, I don't know what to do.
Tanya got a bit upset and kept on having to go and breath outside as I cleared the mould up. In the end, Tanya said to pray, so we did and asked others to as well. So if you do read this, we could do with being able to move, please pray for us. Ta.
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
I should just have a bit of consistency and be content, shine in what ever I am doing and learn from where I have been in my life. This is one of these I just wanted to blog posts, oh well.
I notice I say 'I' quite often, it is not because it is all about me, it is me taking responsibility for who I am, and I on purposely write 'I' on this blog so that I am not preaching at others.
All random musings, I have just given blood, so I will blame that.
Lastly, the reason I sat down to write was to remind myself to start 2 new blogs by me, I am not exactly sure why, as I can hardly keep 1 going. But I have always wanted this blog to be about me splurging out and expressing myself, while keeping some people up to date with where I am, I want to write 2 other blogs, 1 about issues close to my heart, Burma or human trafficking or you get my drift, a socially aware blog and 2, I wanted to share some poetry, which of course, not everyone will get, and of course some people will take the mick out of, so I thought I would do it separately. I will do this soon, I hope.
Monday, 8 June 2009
I have got over myself a bit now. I did some planning with Tanya yesterday, and I have to be reprogammed about what work is, what serving is, how I am not to worry what the world thinks of me. I say this and then having to explain to people, no I don't work, I find awkward. Is it because, as a society, we base so much on what someone does, or I don't want to be a sponger, or lazy????
So many things I am yet to deal with. I am now going to give certain days over to certain things, this is my plan. One day to getting everything right in the house, one day to help on the farm, one day to help in the community, one day to plan for the future and ministry and one day to focus on learning. These are focus points for my days really, to help me be organised, not waste my time, serve and learn. We will see.
I am feeling good and walked with.
Tuesday, 2 June 2009
The reasons for me acting like this are, 1. I don't want to miss Tanya, so keep busy, 2. I am very proud and have to prove that I am great at being 'super dad', 3. Being busy of course means I can feel like I am achieving and thus, I am worthy of relaxation time and all accolades of praise.
Load of rubbish really, it is good to miss your partner, it is not good being proud and boastful and I should serve because that is what I am, full stop and stop putting pressure on myself, relax and enjoy the relationships, sometimes, well quite a lot actually, I am like Martha in Luke, who runs about making sure everything is done, missing out on what God is saying. I actually will say that yesterday I was doing everything on my own steam, it doesn't work, I missed out, stressed out and ran about.
Tanya is back later, I continue to learn.
Monday, 1 June 2009
I bought a couple of other books at the same time, the most enjoyable being 'Adrian Plass' sacred diary', which I have really enjoyed, laughed out loud at and been really encouraged by, especially the recurring theme of God liking Adrian, I think God likes me too.
I have been a bit busy, I have plans and I want to start getting organised, it is good to be busy, to have purpose. Last week being half term, I did things a bit differently, small things in my daily routine to make it feel like I was having a break as well, because Tanya has now, except for one day, completed her hairdressing course and we have our bankruptcy to sort out. After that things are going to be different, lack of car for a start, but different in a way that we can be more organised in how we are going forward, more clear and flexible about how and where we are spending our time. This all sounds a bit coded at the moment, but I do have a lot going on in my head, new ideas, new passions, or maybe just reinvigorated ideas and passions, I wanted to write something down. Things are not great from a worldly perspective, but I feel good and am still optimistic.
Just a bit of a blurbed update.
Tuesday, 19 May 2009
Something I am doing a lot of at the moment, is looking back and letting go. I have done so much in my life, and in a kind of MOT fashion, I am looking back through it and making sure I am carrying no guilt or shame with me. There is so much I could be guilty and shameful about, so many dark places I have been and caused, but I have been set free, I want to make sure I grasp that freedom properly.
I was thinking this morning about a lot of my friends, who seem to have so much and what they rely on for happiness or fulfillment, like money, work, sex, possessions, status. I actually asked, what makes me different, not just why am I different, how do I appear different to them?
I have not got any money, or status, I don't have paid employment, my possessions of financial worth are very little, I am and never have been a sex god. The house we are staying in at the moment is uncomfortable and a bit unhealthy and not ours, a lot of my week is me at home with a 2 year old. Why would my friends look and wish to know what I know.
There is a freedom in me, a freedom in which whatever I face I should be joyful and aware of what I do have and which I carry no baggage. It is the reason I can right 300 posts on this blog, because I am a private person, but here I am babbling it all out, I can talk about my emotions without needing to be drunk or on something, it is the reason I was able to give up my job, lose my house and be as skint as I am, looking bankruptcy in the face, without the upset or worry that I know many others will feel, supported and loved by a huge family throughout, in faith that all will be ok. My worth does not come in what I own, although I like nice things, I am still worth something, when I seem to have nothing and every day I feel more confident, with the less I have.
I have a wonderful wife, who is as passionate in her faith as I am, which is great when you dream like we do. We have 3 children and one on the way, they ain't perfect, they are great, and what a privilege I have to be the one at home supporting them in their growing. I am laughing as I am writing this, as during the writing of this blog, Turaya has wet herself, wee everywhere, and I am writing of the blessings of being at home with the kids, God is a very clever teacher.
It reminds me that the other week I was thinking about how other people get their backs up when someone talks about certain subjects, for instance marriage or parenting, I was saying to others that we should all be open to listening, then this week, on Sunday, the talk was on work, I was on the defensive within seconds. God is a very clever teacher.
My biggest point at the end of all this is that the things that those I know put their faith in, cannot last, no matter where I am, not only will what I have last, but I have a responsibility to show it lasting.
Friday, 15 May 2009
Turaya, my daughter, is 2. Right now she loves to jump, she jumps first thing in the morning when she gets up, she jumps, with my help, down the stairs, if you are walking with her at the moment she jumps every couple of steps, she loves to jump. The biggest place she loves to jump though is in puddles, she seems to have a magnetic attraction to puddles, which means she gets wet. This morning I asked her not to jump in puddles, she told me very matter of factly " I jump in puddles."
Of course I will stop her from getting her own way all the time and stop her getting so wet, but I just laughed at this expression of who she is and how she feels, she jumps in puddles.
I suppose I just want to be free enough to say I am this and this is how I express myself, big full stop, and I suppose the big point is, I am that free and I can express myself, I don't really feel I have expressed myself very clearly here, it looks a bit random to me, but that is ok, I suppose a subtitle for this post is Random Expression. I get it.
Thursday, 14 May 2009
I am also feeling Tanya and I are on a bit of a roll in our prayer life, we don't want to stop, we are really having some great times of sharing and building and dealing with real issues, in our life now and in the past, with God's help.
I have for ages kept a book for prayer, to remind me of people who need peayer and those who have asked me, because my memory is rubbish, even as I write this I have just remembered someone I said I would pray for and I need to write name down, or I will forget again.
I have felt what would be a good idea, as tanya and I are spending this time together, is to write down the stuff we feel God is saying to us, a reminder for when we trip up, a reminder for when we don't think God speaks to us, a reminder for when everything looks bleak, something to learn and grow from, to make sure it goes in.
In other words, I was writing down the stuff I want to say to God, now I am going to write down the stuff He says back.
Wednesday, 13 May 2009
Probably like the tory government before them, they have sat in power for so long, they have started to believe it is their right. Power is temporary, it is given and can be taken away.
There are areas in everyones life where we have to remember that the things we have are temporary, the power, control or ownership of things is temporary and it is given or allowed.
It is not our right, it is not our decision, for everything that we can try to own or make stand as a testament to us or who we are, anything we try to desperately try to hold on to, will eventually fall.
Jesus said in Matthew 6.
19"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust
destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
20But store up for yourselves
treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves
do not break in and steal.
Tuesday, 12 May 2009
Last night Tanya was sharing something from the bible with me, from James 2, where James speaks about faith without deeds, which over the years has been quite a contoversial bit of the new testament, due to people worrying that others would get the wrong end of the stick and think that to be saved, we must do good deeds. I believe even Martin Luther wanted to take James out of the bible, so that no one would get confused.
Anyway, the point I got from it, was that I go on about responding to need, within that statement there is an opt out, e.g. I can see no need, so I can rest easy, where as James speaks of doing good. There is no opt out of doing good, even if I am sitting within the healthiest and wealthiest, there is probably need, probably more need spiritually, it may not be as apparent and from that I can sit back and choose not to look for need and therefore I do not have to respond.
But if I am to 'do good' , there is no opt out, no resting on my laurels, no matter what situation, healthy or not I am in, if my intention is to do good, then I do that, no matter where I am, even within the most spiritually healthy situations, I can still do good, I should do good.
I will do good because of He that is in me, not for my salvation. Avoid opt outs.
Friday, 8 May 2009
In my last place of employment, the work was very reactive, something would happen or be going to happen and we would react appropriately. Because of this we had tv's, dvd's, playstations at one point and a well stocked kitchen. When visitors or higher management would visit us in our place of relaxation and want to know what we were doing, we would explain that we were 'coiled springs', ready to go at a moments notice. This was the case, on many occasion, leaving food, football or film, after all we were at work.
I found during these times was when you really got to know the people you were working with, learnt from each other, laughed, argued, ate and listened. Then, as I say, the coiled spring would be let go and we would be let loose onto the workplace.
I think I am a bit of a coiled spring right now, waiting, listening, working on all sorts of relationships. Also, I think, like the coiled spring I am being wound up, not in the taking the mickey way, in the building up, learning way, being made ready to be fired into an unsuspecting world, who knows where I will shoot off to?
Thursday, 7 May 2009
I like to read RT Kendall, in one of his books he talks about using an acrostic for when he is making decisions about where or how to go in life, it is the word P.E.A.C.E, and it stands for Providence, Enemy, Authority, Confidence and Ease.
Providence is the the thing I am talking about here, how many times do we try to push a door open that God has shut or we naively bring our own desires into the equation, or we manipulate, innocently, situations to our own way, or we rush into something, because we have had a word, or because we have had a word, dream or vision, it has to mean now, at all costs. Or we see someone else and don't understand their situation and try to push how we think God would want them to act and grow, without asking God. In this way I believe we start to add artificial colourings and preservatives to Gods word, we try to genetically modify it, we try to give God a helping hand, who do we think we are?
God grows things in His time, adds what is needed and is sure of the outcome. When I don't see the full picture, I need reminding, God does.
Wednesday, 6 May 2009
all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer.
I think this hymn sums up the attitude to prayer I want, everything about it is true.
Yesterday, Tanya and I were talking and seemed to be speaking a different language, we couldn't really understand what the other one was getting at, so we prayed and it was like a fog being lifted. The other week I was having problems with a parent at the YC, it was getting to me and I was thinking what could I do, it suddenly occurred to me that I hadn't even thought about praying about it.
How often, when facing a new situation, a problem, a conversation, is there no prayer? I suppose if I am dwelling on something, over a period of time, I will pray about it, but what is my first reaction, it should be prayer, before I lose my temper, it should be prayer, before a rant, prayer, conversation, prayer, parenting, prayer, marriage, prayer, as Paul says, pray without ceasing, breathe the conversation to He who is walking with you.
It is not just the big fears, pains and burdens we carry, it is every fear, pain and burden we carry, or what peace we forfeit.
Tuesday, 5 May 2009
Still don't really know what shape the current months or so will be taking, but Tanya and I are having some good time of prayer and there is a momentum to our prayer, which we want to keep going, we are learning loads. One question I am asking myself at the moment is how to live out my freedom in a big way. How to express freedom in a powerful way?
I am also asking, am I putting the effort into all the things I am committed to? My main point being that I noticed I was making a big effort for some things, but other things I was just winging it.
This also led me to think about areas that I don't put any planning and effort into at all, a bit of prayer and turn up, hope it goes well, see you next week. Mainly on that last point, I am talking about the YC. We have all the stuff, games, people, tuck, pray, turn up and another one done. I am feeling there needs to be more preparation, I just don't know what yet.
Friday, 1 May 2009
God allowed Samson to be brought down really low, all he relied on was taken away, due to his decisions, his hair, his strength, he even had his eyes gouged out and had to work as a slave. God was with him and when the opportunity occurred, God used him to destroy more of the enemy of the time through his death than he had through his life. Once again, as I have said before, God uses weakness and if we think we are strong, He can also make us weak, and still use us.
God loves you, no matter what, Don’t let your choices be a barrier between you and God, He may knock the barrier down, because He loves and wants to know you, have you any barriers?'
Thursday, 30 April 2009
Last night Tanya and I were officially commissioned as street pastors, which is good, really still enjoying this and where Tanya is pregnant, she is doing the intercessing side of things at the moment, so we have both sides of things covered there.
The YC started up again on Friday after an Easter break, new challenges there, as number 1 the young people who are coming now are younger, as the older ones are moving off to other things and we have to start making new relationships. Number 2, it is summer time, the young people prefer to be out than in ( I don't blame them ), so we will probably be doing the YC in its current format for a couple more weeks and then we will do something 'different', until September, when we start again.
On Sunday, David, who is a young lad who came to the YC and through it started to come to church, was baptised, I and another had the privilege and it was a blessing.
This week I helped, and may it be the beginning of something weekly, at the 'Kadesh Farm Project', they are doing a great thing, but for me on a personal basis, it was good to some good old fashioned manual labour, I enjoyed it, I am stung and have a bit of a tan, all good.
So, we need to move, to a bigger house.
I would like to study something, but...?????
Finances, planning, I just don't know.
What I do know, is we will be moving this year, we will have another child, Tanya will be a qualified hairdresser and God is in it all, He has it planned out already and I am living in His freedom, bring it on.
Wednesday, 29 April 2009
I believe the greatest reason for all that is happening with me now, is down to relationship. Relationship, relationship, relationship, is what I would say if I was a politician. There is so much baggage removed, so much freedom in just getting into relationship with God, that is what He desires, not sacrifice or offerings.
It is the reason for our creation and the reason for Jesus' death. Relationship.
And then we put so much in between it, I was reading a wonderful analogy yesterday of a husband buying flowers for his wife and then her going to get some money to pay for them, as a husband I would be offended if I gave someone I love so much a gift and they tried paying for it, al I would want would be for her to accept my gift, accept a symbol of my love, as part of our relationship. God has given us the ultimate gift and wants to give us so much more and we try to put conditions and structure to everything, God must be so offended.
The fact is, the more I know God, love Him and am in love with Him, the more I want to be like Him, to know Him more, to know His ways, His word, Him. That is when I pray more, read more, act more, out of love, from the relationship I have with Him.
There is more to unpack here, but I have run out of time, goodbye for now
Thursday, 23 April 2009
This has been me for the last few weeks, BT messed up putting someone elses line on, first giving us a cross line, then cutting us off completely, I only got the internet back yesterday. I have missed it, it was frustrating, but it has also allowed for a lot of reassessment of things, priorities and focuses. Tanya said it was like everything shut down so that the only person we could talk to was God. The tv has been off so much in our house, no telephone, no internet, it is good. The tv will continue to be off, it gets in the way too much. The telephone is helpful, I'm not on it that much, the internet and computer as a whole needs to be relegated, to used when needed, rather than the focus and what I do. Although I will be on it for a while now to catch up with emails, some words, budget stuff and other excuses I have.
In my last post I wrote about frustration or freedom. I have been frustrated lately, in all honesty, I have been frustrated for a long time. There is so much I feel I still carry around with me, that I shouldn't. There has been some ugly scenes at my house lately, dealing face on with issues, that have held me and my family back, there is probably more, and there will certainly be more challenges, especially with a teenager in the house, the challenges can be daily.
As for me, I feel like a cloud has lifted, or I am starting to see some light at the end of a tunnel, I am starting to feel freedom, that is not to say that more clouds won't come, or that I am through the current storm, and I am very wary of the death throes of the current beasts I am dealing with, the night is darkest before the dawn. I actually do feel that the last season and all that has gone with it, is coming to an end. My feelings at the moment are not of feeling calm or ok in the lull of the storm, as I have felt before, it is the feeling that the current storm, is being calmed.
I am feeling free, and that is the answer to my last post, freedom. I am back in communication, the lines are open.
Wednesday, 1 April 2009
There will not be a job for about 18months!!!!!!!
I know I have been putting my eggs in this basket, I have been trying to get other things and looking around for retraining in different areas, but there isn't alot going on, recession and all that and I really wanted to be a prison officer, I still want to be a prison officer, I still can be, in 18 months time, as long as I can stay out of the bankruptcy courts and stay sane.
I don't really know what to do now, as I have said, it isn't as if there are other job options. Tanya has nearly finished her hair course, so I can carry on being a househusband, for a working mother, so I won't be a jobseeker, just a bit mad at being alone, not really integrating into the mums world, just on the outside, I could go to college and study for something, do a degree, but I would have to say no to the prison service and I just don't know if it would be viable.
As a family, we could go on mission for a year, somewhere, I am seriously contemplating this at the moment, I have an idea how it can be payed for, but Tanya is pregnant and other root things, but I would intend on coming back and being a prison officer.
When it comes down to it, I don't know, the title is how I feel and the question I am asking, have I been given a year and a half of freedom? I am so frustrated at not being able to do, not knowing what to do, wanting to get it right and I feel like I have been hit, yesterday I felt hurt and confused. I am still confused.
Today I read in a daily devotional, 'How long will the attack last?' and then '....Having done all...stand' Ephesians 6:13 I also read in another all about being joyful, I need to be joyful, stand and see where God wants me to run with this and turn a time of confusion and inanimation into something useful, bright and alive.
God is the God of turning what appears bleak, or inconsequential or insignificant into what He wants it to be. I think of joseph, slave and prisoner to first minister of the greatest super power of its day, the shepherd boy who slaid a giant and became a king, the messiah, emmanuel, born in a stable.
Appearances can be deceptive, I bet the magi weren't expecting to be kneeling where they did.
I know things ain't too bad, I have sooo much, I am sooo blessed, I am just frustrated and confused about what is happening right now and I want the patience and grace to see how God is working through all these things.
I have officially spouted off, thanks.
Friday, 27 March 2009
In a household, if the the father decides to become a christian, in 93% of cases the rest of the family follow suit, mum, kids all decide to make that commitment. I
f it is mum, in only 17% of cases the rest of the family make that decision, if it is one of the children, only 8%.
It is interesting that most outreach, initiatives, community service, advice or programmes usually have something to do with women and children and very rarely the man of the house.
It has got me thinking!?
Wednesday, 25 March 2009
I quite often get down being a househusband at the moment, for all sorts of reasons, which I have probably wrote about before, but right now, I feel challenged to be the best at what I am doing. This is a word which is helping me right now, I hope I keep it in my heart, but if I do, I know God will speak to me in a new way, He won't leave me, He will just pick me up again in a different way. Right now though, I feel like being the best at what I am doing, spotless house, time with the kids, good food and sorting clothes and finances, all the things I have been putting off or whingeing about ( the garage!!!!). It is about doing, even when it is easy not to.
On top of this I have been reading some new testament stuff and through a collection of verses that I have felt God speaking to me through, I feel that I have to learn not to get so involved in more things right now. I have constant ideas, and when I see a need I want to respond. Response though, needs to be sustainable, like my ideas, they are good, they need following up. My evenings are very busy, I have a family who want and deserve my time, I have to learn to pass things on to the relevant people, not carry things around, getting more and more involved.
Once again, still learning.
Thursday, 19 March 2009
- Dr. Karl Gustav Jung.
'It is an unbroken torture to me that I am so far from him, who as I fully know, governs every breath of my life, and whose offspring I am. I know that it is the evil passions within that keep me so far from him, and yet I cannot get away from them.'
- Mahatma Ghandi speaking about Jesus.
'Religion is man's way of searching for God, but Jesus is God's way of searching for man.'
- Floyd McClung
Tuesday, 17 March 2009
I have probably explained before that Mason is not over keen on Christians, or Christianity for that matter, we don't put him under pressure, he gets quite annoyed with us, praying, church, being all goody goody, in his words, in general he is not very enthusiastic about the whole set up and does not really get where we are coming from. All we can be is ourselves.
On Sunday night, I was out speaking ( I thought it went well), Mason was watching some tv with his mum, they watched a program called 'Debra 13' about a christian girl who has grown up in a big christian family and is right fired up for God. ( I find some of these types of programs a bit cringeworthy, I should probably feel challenged ) Half way through this program, Mason turns to his mum and asks, how do I become a Christian, They have a great discussion and Mason decides he wants to follow Jesus, how exciting, done. Quite emotional and brilliant. Once again seeing what God does, not what we do, or us worrying whether something is relevant or not, while someone is really being moved and challenged by God. Celebration time.
So, Mason has taken this step, Liverpool have annihilated Real Madrid and Man U in one week, Ireland are still on course for the grand slam and it is St Patrick's day, when we remember the guy who brought the Good news to Ireland.
In an interesting poem I was sent this morning, it says '....came, but to conquer their hearts, not to seek for his fame..' He got both.
Friday, 13 March 2009
I was reading recently about the lack of Amish theologians, or any anabaptist movement, they are too busy living the life. Putting what they read into practice, concentrating on the words of Jesus. Seems like a good idea.
I love reading, discussing, writing and studying the word of God, but I do think that people can get caught up in the studying of the word and forget to act on it.
Actually, I am more concerned about all the discussion that goes on about church and how church should be, and what should and shouldn't be in church. I do actually believe that in some circles, how we do church has become the priority discussion. Or actually the things I hear are, how do we do church and start being more active in social justice and our community?
I could do that as a title for the emergent church movement, or for missional communities;
HOW DO WE DO CHURCH AND START BEING MORE ACTIVE IN SOCIAL JUSTICE AND OUR COMMUNITY?
I suppose I get worried that people get things the wrong way round, the church needs to be His people living as closely and intimately together, because they want to, remember that bit in Acts where it says they held all things in common, they met together, sang together, ate together, put their money together, went to each others homes, listened to teaching. I think there are an awful lot of churches that do exactly that, they might not do it the way you like. You have to listen to what God is saying to you, work out your own salvation with the almighty and act on it.
Things may need to change, but as in an evangelistic life, keep writing, keep talking, keep stirring people up and you probably won't get too far, except, a good book deal and loads of churches doing your study guide, lots of people arguing over whether you are right or not and then not really getting anywhere.
Start showing, start living the life, be an example and a reality of what God is saying to you and people will follow, as should happen in the reality of the life of a Christian. Starting to act like we actually mean it, is the biggest testimony we can give, not a constant barrage of anything or a new church series aimed at relevancy. The more real you are, the more relevant you are.
I have been to some church meetings which I have cringed at and seen non christian visitors reduced to tears, or have actually given their lives at the strangest of times, when I have thought what are people getting out of this. I do not know how God has prepared a heart or what God is doing inside of someone, I do not save, I can be there to explain, listen and be me, the rest is between God and that person.
The point of social justice and the community should not even be a conversation. Because we are who we are and have who we have inside of us, there should be a compulsion to reach out, the conversation needs to be how and who, not why, we should be living the why.
Is it because we don't live the way we ought, we miss the point. In any given church in the uk, you would get more people agreeing with comments against a current worship structure, than agreeing with somebody's decision to home educate. Yet which is more damaging, how many songs we sing on a Sunday or the secular based education structure that treats evolution as fact and so much of the worlds ways are forced on our children. People would be more likely to agree to a shortening of the time teaching than they would be to selling a precious item of their own and giving the money to the poor, or shortening of the service as a whole than giving up any more time during the week. After all, people have got lives, but there I was thinking we gave them to Jesus.
This must sound a bit preachy and judgemental, it is not meant to, I am thinking out loud, and thinking over things I have heard recently and throwing these things down on paper, that is how it is meant.
If we mean it, then a church service, on whatever day, is worth it, to worship, to sing, to learn, to have fellowship, if we mean it, then we will be living it in a community and standing up at the right time in the right ways.
Stuff to mull over anyway. I have too much time and don't sleep enough
Thursday, 12 March 2009
The other day, I included in our desires, to be able to be in a position at home, to help our youth. I do want to be able to be there for them and help in the ways I had stated, but actually, what is really important right now, is for the 3 children and 1 on the way that exist in our home now, they are the priority. They need to be strengthened, so that we can help others, as a family, so we all get the vision, we all have the desire and can go out in help together. So I suppose the important thing for us, is that we have the space and time together, to explore and learn and be together. We played twister last night, it was funny, we didn't really have enough room, but we did it anyway, that is important. Also Tanya, being pregnant, was the spinner, she told me after one of the games, that she had just been naming the place that it would be most difficult for me to touch every time it was my go. Not very nice.
I am also questioning, whether staying in town is the best option, are our children influenced in the right way by those around them in town, or could a village life bring back a bit of innocence.
I don't know if I would be thinking this way about our older boys, if we had been christians our whole lives and brought them up that way. I think then we may be coming from a point of strength anyway and be looking to go out into somewhere harder, tougher and real as a family, but we have shown our boys so much of the world that maybe they should not have seen, I feel like pulling them into somewhere safe for a while, allowing them to have a breather from the world, strengthening them, these are all ongoing thoughts, I am really not sure.....
Tuesday, 10 March 2009
One thing that somebody has said to us lately, as we have looked at the odd house, is ' Does it fit into your vision?'
This made Tanya and I stop and ask, 'What is our vision?' Well here are our basics;
More room and rooms. We all feel a bit squashed in at the moment and finding privacy or space to express ourselves, is a problem.
More room to eat together,
More room to play together,
Room to paint,
Room for Tanya to cut hair
A place that people can come to and chill out, without overcrowding,
A place of respite, if someone needs to get their head down for a few days,
Somewhere in Diss, so we are accessible and our children can continue educationally and socially to put down roots,
That is a start anyway, a start I am quite happy with actually.
This has all got me thinking about the nature of choices and how we/I make them. I was reading Acts 1 yesterday and the apostles needed to make their number back up to twelve, so they had two candidates, they prayed, then drew lots. I find this very interesting and this is a line of thought I will be exploring myself over the next few days, personally, probably not on this blog, I am also thinking of the Urim and Thummim, which were used by the priests to make decisions. It just occurs to me, that in the Bible, God was quite clear about decisions made, am I listening and able to see that clarity myself now, or is it, once again, biblically, a time when God withdraws and says, you decide, I want to know your heart?
I am thinking out loud, in written form, I suppose I am sharing how my brain is working right now, I have some reading to do and some resting.